Wild Card Recap: Raiders fall to Bengals 26-19

Source: Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders headed to Ohio on Saturday to take on the Cincinnati Bengals for Wild Card Weekend. The game was a rematch of their Week 11 showdown and, ended the same way. After an eventful game, the Bengals came out on top. Here’s how it all went down.

First Half

The Raiders got the ball first and looked like they were ready to play. RB Josh Jacobs had a familiar power and WR Hunter Renfrow was already making catches only he could make. A solid drive sputtered out after a false start penalty by TE Darren Waller. K Daniel Carlson nailed a 47-yard field goal to put the first points on the board.

The Bengals also came to play as they drove down the field on their first drive of the game. CB Brandon Facyson had a hard time adjusting to Bengals’ rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase, giving up three receptions for 37 yards. The drive was capped off with QB Joe Burrow’s first touchdown pass of the day.

The Raiders fell victim to a Derek Carr fumble on their following drive, giving the Bengals the ball at the Raiders’ 10-yard line. Despite the field position, the defense made an impressive stop and held the Bengals to a field goal. 10-3 Bengals after the first quarter.

The second quarter consisted of many mistakes by the Raiders’ special teams and offense. On numerous occasions, dropped critical passes and penalties cost the Raiders points.

After a questionable ruling by the officials, Bengals QB Joe Burrow connected with WR Tyler Boyd for his second touchdown pass of the day. This gave the Raiders the ball back with 1:51 left in the half, down 14. Any points left on the board by Las Vegas before the half would be tough to come back from.

QB Derek Carr knew it was time to go and led an 80-yard touchdown drive within the two-minute warning. The drive was kept alive by a 20 yard rush by Carr himself and capped off with a touchdown by WR Zay Jones. At halftime, the Bengals led 20-13.

Second Half

At the beginning of the half, the Raiders knew they had to make a big stop on defense as the Bengals got the ball first. The Raiders were able to hold them to a field goal but were unable to get any points on their own first offensive drive of the half.

Penalties continued to be the most prevalent aspect of the game through the remainder of the quarter. Each member of the Raiders offensive line had committed at least one penalty through three quarters, often costing Las Vegas big plays and ending their drives, including their second offensive drive of the half.

“We did some uncharacteristic things with some penalties and gave up some drives… just didn’t go our way today,” Rich Bisaccia told the media after the game.

After a holding penalty by LG John Simpson inside the 10-yard line, the Raiders had to settle for another Carlson field goal. Bengals led 23-16 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Just like the Raiders’ 2021 season, the fourth quarter was chaotic. After both teams traded field goals, Las Vegas got the ball back with 1:51 left in the game down by seven points. QB Derek Carr and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia had a chance to lead their team to a game-tying touchdown drive and potentially send the game to overtime.

“We have a group of guys that have learned how to care for each other, how to come to work and improve, and compete relentlessly until the bitter end,” Rich Bisaccia said emotionally after the game.

The Raiders came out hot on their final drive with a Jacobs rush for 30 yards That first down play ended up being the highlight of the drive. Inside the five yard-line, the Raiders missed three end-zone passes with under 30 seconds left on the clock. The game ended on an interception by Derek Carr, and the season was over. Bengals wwould win the game by a final score of 26-19.

“I just felt so confident in the game, the game plan. So, it’s just hard right now,” QB Derek Carr said, after mentioning how frustrated he felt that the game ended this way.

The Raiders will fly back to Las Vegas and begin preparation for the 2022 season. Owner Mark Davis has many big decisions ahead of him, including finding his next permanent head coach.

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